As this chapter starts the times were thrilling for Daniel, Israel was being allowed to now rebuild what had been destroyed seventy years previous ! The year was 536 B.C. and this final vision of Daniel’s has been called the Great Warfare Vision. As we study it we’re reminded that all around us wages this spiritual conflict which is ultimately between God and Satan and WILL result in God triumphing !
Daniel was “mourning” in vs2 likely due to the state of his people. They’d been permitted to return to their promised land yet only a small group decided to at first as many had become immersed in the Babylonian culture they had little interest in the things of God. Sound familiar in our day? Worldliness has always been a means Satan has waged war on believers. If he can get us more like the world than the Creator of the world he can prevent us from attracting unbelievers to Christ ! So Daniel proceeds to engage himself in this skirmish by fasting and praying (vs3) rather than complaining about the state of his siblings in Christ.
Daniel then sees a “certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz, his body like the beryl (a yellowish jasper gem) and his face as the appearance of lightning. . .” (vss.5-6). This is what is called a Christophany or appearance of Christ in the form of a man. The Lord informs Daniel that from the very first day he started to fast and pray He started to come with an answer but was held up by the “prince of the kingdom of Persia” (vs13) for three weeks ! But Michael the archangel “came to help Me”.
There are several things to note here. One, ever wonder why you pray and don’t get an answer right away? God, in His wisdom, knows what we need better than we do and His delays are always for a good reason and His timing is always spot on ! Remember how Lazarus was dying and He delayed? Had He not, the miracle of raising him from the grave would not have happened. But God was glorified in a greater way by waiting. Also, how could the Son of God be thwarted by this “prince of Persia”? Because God chooses to limit Himself at times for great purposes. An instance in Genesis comes to mind of Jacob wrestling with the pre-incarnate Christ (another Christophany). He allowed Himself to not win the match so that Jacob could finally win spiritually and change for the better. It was there he was then called by God Israel instead of Jacob ! It’s like when a Dad wrestles with his little boy and lets him win to encourage him !! And perhaps the best example is how Christ limited Himself at the cross so that we could be saved !!
One more thing to note here is that in this great warfare, that still is going on in our day, there are angelic forces at work behind the scenes. When I say angelic I mean both sides: the good guys and the bad guys (demons). This “prince of Persia” was not a literal human royal but a demon who was influencing the government of Persia (the now dominant world power at the time of this vision). And Michael is believed to have been and still is the “guardian angel” of the nation of Israel as vs.21 suggests when it says, “Michael YOUR prince” ! So what we have is a hint here how that nations are being tugged and pulled by angelic forces in this great spiritual warfare. An unseen battle wages about us and we must be ready soldiers in the Lord’s army !! Perhaps this is some of why Paul said he had “fought a good fight” ?! There is more to life than meets the eye, friend. In all your doings there are struggles around you and I we cannot as yet see and Satan will do his best to prevent people from being saved. But once we are born again he seeks to keep us from being involved in the local church where God has planned for His work to be done in this age ! Today make sure you are fighting the GOOD fight – live for Christ, serve Him well, become more like Him and you will win the day and send Satan “packing” ! This is why as the chapter is closing Jesus says to Daniel, “O man greatly beloved (or “precious one”), fear not, peace be unto thee, be strong, yea be strong” !! Lord willing tomorrow we’ll get into the meaning of the vision in chapter 11 !!